Bibb Latane Experiments

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Catherine Genovese was about to walk into her apartment late at night when all of a sudden, a man attacked her with a knife. As she was stabbed and raped by the man, lights flashed on from the windows of surrounding apartment buildings. Although she screamed for help several times, nobody came out to aid her. After the murder concluded and a case erupted, it was reported that there were thirty-eight witnesses watching from their windows. John Darley and Bibb Latané were two young psychologists who read about this incident, and they were inspired to study the subject of witness behavior. They conducted several experiments in which they tested the conditions necessary for people to ignore someone’s cry for help. There is a notable quote that Slater includes that states…show more content…
As this took place, all the other boys and I just watched him do this, glancing at each other to see if anybody would put a stop to it. Nobody did anything. Last year at my summer camp, however, I noticed that two kids were fighting over a game and I immediately broke them up. Not only that, but I sat both of the kids down and worked out a solution between the two of them. One of the experiments that Darley and Latane conducted involved a college student that was put in a room and made to believe there were students in other rooms next to him, by putting tape recorders in them. One of the tape recorders played a recording of what sounded like a student having a seizure. The results showed that 31% of students reacted to help the student having a seizure when they thought others were around, but 85% tried to help when they thought they were the only person around. This goes to show that in my life, it is easier to take action when you are the only one around (in the vicinity of the situation), but that if you are surrounded by others it is more difficult for individuals to take authority to help somebody
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